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Some Appreciations page 1 1 

Introduftion 1 5 

Facsimile of original Title Page 57 

The Last Fight of the Revenge 61 


i. Queen Elizabeth going on board the 
Golden Hind (By kind per mission of 
the Committee of Lloyd's Register) page 1 9 

2. The Last Fight 59 

3. Galleons in Harbour 73 

4. Loading the Galleons 85 

5. The Galleon Fair 97 

6. A Captured Galleon (From a picture in 

the possession of Colonel Goff) 1 o 5 


"TN the year 1 59 1 was that memorable Fight 
A of an English Ship called the Revenge, under 
the command of S r Richard Greenvill; Memor- 
able (I say) even beyond credit, and to the Height 
of some Heroicall Fable. And though it were a 
Defeat, yet it exceeded a Victory." 


"S r Richard Greenfield got eternall honour and 
reputation of great valour, and of a experimented 
Souldier, chusing rather to sacrifice his life, and 
to passe all danger whatsoever, then to favle in 
his Obligation. . . . And rather we ought to im- 
brace an honourable death then to live with in- 
famie and dishonour, bv fayling in dutie." 


tc Than this what have we more! What can be 
greater! " 


" Struck a deeper terror, though it was but the 

a<5tion of a ship, into the hearts of the Spanish 

people; it dealt a more deadly blow upon their 

fame and moral strength than the destruction of 

the Armada itself." 


" Perhaps in all naval history there never was a 
more gallant fight than that of the Revenge off 
the Western Isles." 


And the sun went down, and the stars came out far 

over the summer sea, 
But never a moment ceased the fight of the one and 

the fifty-three. 
Ship after ship, the whole night long, their high-built 

galleons came, 
Ship after ship, the whole night long, with her battle- 
thunder and flame; 
Ship after ship, the whole night long, drew back with 

her dead and her shame. 
For some were sunk and many were shatter'd, and 

so could fight us no more — 
God of battles, was ever a battle like this in the world 


Tennyson, "The Revenge : A Ballad of the Fleet'' 

By permission oj Messrs Macmillan & Co., Ltd, the owners of the copyright. 


HICH is the greatest name upon 
the roll of English ships? Which 
is the most sure of a lasting and 
effectual renown? There was a 
day when all England would 
have given but oneanswer. If you 
ask the Elizabethan of 1580, you will find him 
very positive upon the point, and not a little ex- 
alted. Drawn round the world by the Divine 

Hand, under the Northern and Southern Pole 
stars, victor over a hundred enemies, ballasted with 
royal treasure, & steered by the captured charts 
of Spanish Admirals, the little ship that sailed as 
the Pelican^ comes home again as the (joldenHind. 
She brings her fabulous booty and her still more 
fabulous ro mance from Plymouth Sound toDept- 
ford, and then and there the great names of the 
past — the Christophers^ the Great Harrys^ the 
Dragons and the Swans — are all finally eclipsed. 
Drake, kneeling upon her deck, receives his 
knighthood from the hand of Gloriana, and the 
(jolden Hind herself, bidding farewell for ever to 
wind and wave, is laid up as a national monu- 
ment — "consecrated to perpetuall Memory." 
She is remembered still, but it is hardly for her 



own sake; her story is a part of Drake's, and not 
the greatest part. Question your Elizabethan 
again some ten years later, and hers is no longer 
the name that he will give you; he will speak of 
things that are even nearer to his heart, and to 
ours; for though an Englishman will always, I 
suppose, lick his lips over a tale of treasure, it is 
the fighting and not the plunder that he is really 
fitted to enjoy, and in his imagination even the 
jewels of the Golden Hind will shine with a less 
bright and steady glow than the battle-lanterns 
of the Revenge. 

The Revenge is a part of no man; she saw many 
captains and more triumphs than one. She had a 
personality, as great ships always have; she had 
a career, a life of her own. She has a life after 
death; not only a posterity but a true survival. 

She may be said, in no merely figurative sense, to 
be on a6tive service still. If the day ever comes 
when she no longer helps to keep the sea for us, 
it can only be when Time shall have paid off the 
British Navy. 

The last of her successes is more freshly remem- 
bered by our friends than by ourselves. A neigh- 
bouring potentate, whom pride in his English 
descent had exhilarated to a pitch of splendid 
audacity worthy of an Elizabethan, challenged 
us by a telegram encouraging a vassal State to 
throw off the suzerainty of the Queen. If the 
message meant anything, it was a promise of 
armed support; but the promise had none of the 
Elizabethan hardihood to back it, and proved 
bankrupt as soon as the Flying Squadron put to 

sea. It was not that this force was unknown, or 
suddenly created; the ships had long been on the 
Navy List, their names, guns, tonnage and com- 
plement all as familiar to the German Kaiser as 
to the rest of the world. But there was a sense 
abroad of something more than brute strength: 
a memory of great traditions, of inherited skill, 
of undaunted and indomitable tenacity. When 
on that January 15, 1896, the English Admiral 
hoisted his flag in the Revenge, and Her Majesty's 
Marines marched on board under the command 
of Captain Drake, the enemy disappeared from 
the seas, and we made haste to forget another 
naval viftory. 

The lesson, we may hope, remains; this was 
not a triumph of physical force. The challenger's 
nerve, and not his ships, failed him; he feared his 


own destru&ion more than he desired ours. In an 
age even more materially minded, if possible, than 
those which went before it, we are increasingly 
diligent to measure our armour and our guns, 
to reckon up our horse-power and the number of 
our hits at target praftice. It is not for any man 
to blame us; we should be wrong if we neglected 
these things, but we should be still more wrong 
if we forgot for a moment that there were years 
in our history when it was not we but our enemies 
who had the advantage of armament, and that 
whether by combination or otherwise, such a time 
may come upon us again. Build as we will, we 
cannot secure ourselves against it forever; but we 
can forestall it by facing it with the remembrance 
of the past. It was by moral superiority that the 

Elizabethans came through their trial. The Spani- 
ards were contending to maintain their hold 
upon the wealth of the world, and they fought 
as men will fight in such a cause — courageously, 
but not desperately; the English fought as, at 
sea, they must always be fighting, for national 
existence, and they took care — it was a great 
part of their strength — to leave their enemies in 
no doubt that they meant in every engagement 
to make the affair fatal to one side or the other. 
This is a policy which we did not follow in the 
latest of our wars; we may have been justified, 
we had our reasons, and we paid the full price; 
but on the day when we abandon it upon the 
sea, we shall have thrown away our only sure 
defence and our deadliest weapon. Men and 
nations are never so nearly invincible and never 


half so terrible as when they are armed with con- 
tempt of death; and that such an ardent temper 
can defy, discourage and destroy mere bulk or 
numbers," even beyond credit and to the Height 
of some Heroicall Fable" — this is the meaning 
of the last fight of the Revenge. 


T was in 1 577, the year in which 
the Golden Hind sailed from Ply- 
mouth on her ever-memorable 
voyage, that the Revenge first 
took the water. Probably, says 
Arber (but I cannot find upon 
what authority), she was built at Chatham by 
Sir John Hawkins. According to Sir John 
Laughton she was launched at Deptford. Ships 

are the children of predestination, as every sailor 
knows: from the moment when they leave the 
slips they are either lucky or unlucky. In the 
opinion of the youngerHawkins the Revenge "was 
ever the unfortunatest Ship the late Queene's 
Majestie had during her Raigne." He supports 
this view by a list of hairbreadth escapes, which 
might as easily be quoted to prove her the espe- 
cial care of Providence, many times miraculously 
preserved to be the scourge and dishonour of 
the Queen's enemies. First, says Sir Richard, 
"Comming out of Ireland with Sir John Parrot, 
she was like to be [but was not] cast away 
upon the Kentish coast." Then, in 1586, "in 
the Voyage of Sir John Hawkins, she struck 
aground coming into Plimouth, before her going 

3 8 

to Sea"; but to sea she went nevertheless. Upon 
the coast of Spain she was " readie to sinke with 
a great Leake," and (though she did not sink) 
"at her return into the harbour of Plimouth, 
she beat upon Winter Stone" — again without 
fatality. She escaped a still greater danger when, 
soon after, she twice ran aground in going out of 
Portsmouth Haven, lay twenty-two hours beat- 
ing upon the shore, and was forced off with 
eight feet of water in her, only to ground again 
"upon the Oose, "where she stuck for six months, 
until the following spring, testifying to the 
skill of those who built and the clumsiness of 
those who sailed her. Being at last got off and 
brought round into the Thames to be docked, 
"her old Leake breaking upon her, had like to 

have drowned all those which were in her." 
Neither then, however, nor in any of her mishaps, 
does she appear to have actually drowned anyone, 
not even when, in 1 5 9 1 , " with a storme of wind 
and weather, riding at her moorings in the river 
of Rochester, nothing but her bare Masts over- 
head, shee was turned topse-turvie, her Kele 
uppermost. ,, One might have thought that this 
final proof of her indestructibility would con- 
vince her detractor. Drake, at any rate, knew a 
good sea-boat when he saw one, for he chose 
her for his flagship when he sailed against the 
Armada as Vice-Admiral, and the Calendar of 
State Papers contains, under the date of Novem- 
ber, 1588, a "Device of Lord Admiral Howard, 
Sir F. Drake, Sir W. Wynter, Sir John Hawkyns, 
Capt. Wm. Borough and others, for the con- 
struction of four new ships to be built on the 


model of the Revenge, but exceeding her in 
burthen." (She was but of 500 tons herself, and 
carried at most 260 men and forty guns.) To this 
evidence we may add the statement of a Spanish 
prisoner, bearing the delightful name of Gonsalo 
Gonsalez del Castillo, who writes in 1592 that 
in England "they have been much pained by 
the loss of one of the Queen's galleons, called 
the Revenge; they say she was the best ship the 
Queen had, and the one in which they had the 
most confidence for her defence." 

Such was the Revenge^ and, if she had her 
share of misfortune she had also her full share of 
prosperous service. She bore Drake's flag as Vice- 
Admiral from January 3, 1588. On May 23, at 
the head of sixty sail, she escorted the Lord Ad- 
miral Howard into Plymouth; then, till July 

12, she watched and longed for the "felicisima 
Armada. " On Saturday the 20th, while the 
enemy crept up Channel in heavy rain, and the 
wind fell lighter and lighter, she tacked and 
tacked her way out painfully through a night of 
deadly anxiety. She had her reward. On Sunday, 
"conspicuous with an extravagant pennant and 
a banner on her mizzen, and fighting almost at 
grappling distance," she battered Don Juan Mar- 
tinez de Recalde in the Santa Anna. Towards 
evening the Admirals held Council on board her; 
when night fell her lantern led the fleet, until 
Drake, finding himself among strange sail, ex- 
tinguished it and lay by for daylight. Howard 
and the rest went after the Spanish lights, and 
when dawn came the Revenge found herself alone, 

and drifting within a few cables of the huge 
Nuestra SeTiora del Rosario, flagship of Don Pe- 
dro de Valdes, Captain-General of the Andalusian 
Squadron and one of Sidonia's best officers. The 
Captain-General was "spoiled of his mast the day 
before, " and had smashed his bowsprit in colli- 
sion; but he tried to stand out for conditions of 
surrender. The Vice- Admiral replied that he was 
Drake, and had no time to parley. That ended 
the matter; the galleon went into Dartmouth 
"under the conduction of the 1{oebuc\" and the 
Revenge "bare with the Lord Admiral, and re- 
covered his Lordship that night, being Monday." 
Aboard of her went poor Don Pedro and forty of 
his officers; also their cash, to the tune of fifty 
thousand ducats. 


On Tuesday the 23rd, the prisoners, or those 
of them who were allowed on deck, witnessed 
the battle off the Isle of Wight, the failure of the 
galleasses with their countless oars, and the rescue 
of the Triumph^ in which our first Victory and our 
first ^Dreadnought distinguished themselves. They 
saw, too, in the bird-like line-ahead flights of 
the Ifevenge and her consorts, their quick con- 
centrations and dispersals, what Mr Julian Cor- 
bett has described as " the first dawn of those 
modern tactics which Blake and Monk were to 
develop and Nelson to perfedt." By the end of the 
day they were probably all deaf; the unknown 
eyewitness who wrote the Relation of Proceedings 
for Howard, declares that "there was never seen 
a more terrible value of great shot, nor more hot 
fight than this was; for although the musketeers 


and harquebusiers of crock were then infinite, 
yet could they not be discerned nor heard for 
that the great ordnance came so thick that a man 
would have judged it to have been a hot skirmish 
of small shot, being all the fight long within half 
musket shot of the enemy." 

On the 24th fresh ammunition arrived, and 
the fleet was divided into four squadrons, of 
which Revenge was to lead the second. 

On Thursday the 2 5 th, in a calm, the galleasses 
ventured again and were finally knocked out of 
the fight. For the next two days "the Spaniards 
went always before the English Army like sheep" 
until on Saturday evening they suddenly came 
to an anchor off Calais. 

On the night of Sunday the 28th, the Lord 
Admiral "caused eight ships to be fired and let 


drive amongst the Spanish fleet; whereupon they 
were forced to let slip or cut cables at half and 
to set sail." When day came, Howard stopped 
to take a prize, and it was the Revenge who led 
the last great chase northwards, pounding Sido- 
nia himself in the huge San Martin, sinking, 
scattering and driving ashore his followers. " It 
was the hour," says Mr Corbett, "for which 
Francis Drake had been born." But glorious as 
it was, it was not yet the hour for which the 
Revenge had been built. 


RAKE was beyond doubt the 
greatest man who ever set foot 
in the Revenge, but it was not 
for him, or any like him, to sail 
her to the fulfilment of her un- 
paralleled destiny. The imagina- 
tion of two great peoples has made of him an 
almost supernatural hero, a gigantic figure of 
romance ; but in spite of his inexhaustible courage, 


his dazzling fortune, and the touch of extrava- 
gance which he caught from the spirit of his 
ti me, he was neither a Don Quixote nor a Prince 
Fortunate of mere adventures. For him there 
was nothing that could not be dared, but it must 
be dared with method and for an end in view; 
for him wisdom could never be "wisdom in the 
scorn of consequence." Settingaside their natural 
bravery and the fashion of the day, there was 
little in common between this heroic prototype 
of the modern Englishman, and Sir Richard 
Grenville, the inheritor of a temperament which 
has long been pradtically extin£t among us, and 
was even then the characteristic of a dwindling 


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class. The men of courage without discipline, 
of enthusiasm without reason, of will without 
science — a type of arrested development surviv- 
ing from the days beyond the Renaissance — fell 
with the Stuart Kings and were finally buried 
with the rebels of the '45. It is easy to say that 
they were of no use, these turbulent, insensate, 
self-willed children of aristocracy; at the least 
they added colour and vivacity to life, and these 
are something; now and again they had their 
great moments, when folly touched the height 
of tragedy, and left a true inspiration for those 
who are not too sober or too senile to receive it. 
Men have always liked to think of definite 
characteristics as the hereditary possession of 
certain families — often, no doubt, without much 
justification, but surely not altogether so in the 


case of the Grenvilles. Reading their records 
without any preconceived belief, we cannot but 
hear one note ringing out again & again through 
at least three centuries and a half. We hear Sir 
Richard's grandson, Sir Bevil — it goes without 
saying that he was a Cavalier — swearing "to 
fetch those traitors out of their nest at Laun- 
ceston, or fire them in it." We see him, "after 
solemn prayers," charging furiously " both down 
the one hill and up the other " at Bradock Down ; 
or again dying on the brow of Lansdowne Hill, 
after he had stormed it in the face of cannon, 
"small shot from the breastworks" and "two 
full charges from the enemy's horse." 

His brother, another Sir Richard, was a Cava- 
lier, too, and a Grenville to the backbone; hated 
by his men for his iron discipline — "no doubt," 

says Clarendon, "the man had behaved himself 
with great pride and tyranny over them" — he 
was even more intolerable to his superiors; he 
flatly refused to aft under Hopton, and drove 
the Prince of Wales to imprison him in despair. 
A more attractive, but still characteristic, mem- 
ber of the family was Bevil's son, Denis, Arch- 
deacon of Durham, whom we find, after James 
II had already fled the kingdom, preaching in 
the midst of his enemies" a seasonable loyall 
Sermon"; collecting a war fund from the pre- 
bendaries for his fallen sovereign; bolting to 
Scotland on horseback; captured, but escaping 
to France; coming back incognito and escaping 
again. Ardent Jacobite and equally ardent Pro- 
testant, he defied the Court at St Germain to 
convert him to Romanism, and when they would 

not allow him to read the English Service, con- 
soled himself by publishing at Rouen a manifesto 
with the exquisite title of "The Resigned and 
Resolved Christian and Faithful and Undaunted 
Royalist in two plain farewell Sermons and a 
loyal farewell Visitation Speech." 

It must be admitted that even so late as the 
eighteenth century — the Venerable Denis lived 
till 1703 — these gentlemen were the opposite of 
tame; even when they were "Resigned" they 
were at the same time "Resolved" and "Un- 
daunted." This is even more true of their four- 
teenth-century ancestor, Sir Theobald, the first 
Grenville of whom I have found anything essen- 
tial to relate. He, at the age of twenty-two, 
thought fit to rebel against the paternal despotism 
of John Grandison, Bishop of Exeter, who had 



instituted a nominee of Sir John Raleigh's to the 
Grenville family living of Kilkhampton, in defi- 
ance, it would appear, of the lawful patron's 
rights. Sir Theobald made war at once in the 
best Grenville manner. At dawn on Sunday, 
March 24, 1347, he invaded the Manor of 
Bishop's Tawton with 500 followers "armed 
with divers kinds of weapons, offensive and 
defensive, after the fashion of men going to mortal 
war." They stormed the Manor-house, the Sanc- 
tuary and the Manse ; killed some of the defenders, 
took plunder to the value of two hundred marks 
(the Bishop's estimate) and otherwise "multi- 
pliciter perturbarunt pacem et tranquillitatem 
Domini nostri Regis." The Bishop's peace and 
tranquillity being also disturbed, he at once ex- 
communicated the entire army. Sir Theobald 


then brought and won an a£Hon against Raleigh 
in the King's Bench; the Bishop's man appealed 
to Rome, with the inevitable result; the King's 
Bench judgement was annulled, with costs against 
Sir Theobald. Cheered by this, the Bishop sent 
the Abbot of Hartland and the Prior of Laun- 
ceston to Kilkhampton one fine July day to put 
things to rights. The Grenville army, with faces 
masked and painted, bows bent and arrows 
notched, met the Church Militant in a narrow 
lane and routed it shamefully; the pursuit lasted 
for a mile, and Sir Theobald then fortified and 
held Kilkhampton Church for several days. After 
eighteen months more of contumacy, peace was 
made ; from the terms we may judge how hard the 
Grenville had pressed his tremendous adversary. 
He knelt, it is true, and confessed his guilt — 


there was no denying that — but the Bishop, in 
return for this preservation of his dignity, had 
to revoke his own institution and admit a new 
rector upon Sir Theobald's presentation ; Raleigh 
got nothing but the barren pleasure of reading 
aloud the Act of Submission. The significant 
points of the story are to me, first, that this boy 
of twenty-two gained his end in the teeth of all 
Rome; second, that to gain it he cared not what 
he did or suffered; and last, that it was never 
worth the money or the crimes it cost him. 

It is vain, I think, to deny that in such a family 
group as this, Sir Richard Grenville of the Revenge 
would be in every sense at home. His record is 
plain. In 1585, when Raleigh's first colony for 
Virginia set out from Plymouth in seven ships, 
it was Sir Richard who took command of it. 


though he knew little of seamanship, and still less, 
apparently, of government. Letters from Lane, 
the head of the colony, to Secretary Walsingham, 
and dispatches from the treasurer to Raleigh him- 
self, set forth Grenville's "intolerable pride" and 
his "insatiable ambition." His behaviour to his 
subordinates was such that they desire to be freed 
from any place where he is to carry any authority 
in chief. But what an irresistible fighter he is! On 
the homeward voyage he falls in with " a Spanish 
ship of 300 tunne, richly loaden"; having no 
boats, he boards her with an improvised one, 
"made with boards of chests, which fell a sunder, 
and sunke at the shippes side as soone as ever 
he and his men were out of it." He reached 


home at the end of October, and was off again 
in the following April, when the Justices of 
Cornwall report to the Council, Sir Richard 
having evidently neglected to do so, that, "being 
about to depart to sea, he has left his charge of 
300 men to George Greynvil." On this voyage 
he sacked the Azores, took "divers Spanyardes" 
and performed "many other exploytes," but he 
reached Virginia too late to be of any service to 
the colony, which had already left for England. 
Then came the business of the Armada, in which 
he had at least three ships of his own engaged, 
though he got little chance of distinguishing 
himself in his station off the coast of Devon 
and Cornwall. His next voyage was that in the 
Revenge: and here again, in the one memorable 
action of his life, we cannot but see the working 

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of the peculiar character which is visible in all 
the rest. 

"This Sir Richard Greenfield was a great and 
a rich Gentleman in England," says a contem- 
porary, the Dutchman Linschoten, "and had 
great yearly revenewes of his owne inheritance: 
but he was a man very unquiet in his minde, 
and greatly affected to warre: in so much as of 
his owne private motion he offered his service 
to the Queene: he had performed many valiant 
acls, and was greatly feared in these Islands [i.e., 
the Azores], and knowne of every man, but of 
nature very severe, so that his owne people hated 
him for his fiercenes and spake verie hardly of 
him: for when they first entered into the Fleete 
or Armado, they had their great sayle in a readi- 
nesse, and might possiblie enough have sayled 

away: for it [i.e., the Revenge] was one of the 
best ships for sayle in England, and the Master 
perceiving that the other shippes had left them, 
and followed not after, commanded the great 
sayle to be cut, that they might make away: 
but Sir Richard Greenfield threatened both him, 
and all the rest that were in the ship, that if any 
man laid hand upon it, he would cause him to 
be hanged, and so by that occasion they were 
compelled to fight, and in the end were taken." 
Sir William Monson, another contemporary, 
has left behind him a similar account, first printed 
in 1682. "Upon view of the Spaniards, which 
were 55 sail, the Lord Thomas warily, and like 
a discreet General, weighed Anchor, and made 

signs to the rest of his Fleet to do the like, with 
a purpose to get the wind of them: but Sir 
Richard Grenvile, being a stubborn man, . . . 
would by no means be persuaded by his Master, 
or Company, to cut his main Sail, to follow the 
Admiral: nay, so headstrong and rash he was, 
that he offered violence to those that counselled 
him thereto. " 

Sir Walter Raleigh, Grenville'skinsman, friend 
and apologist, tells substantially the same story, 
but he endeavours to throw a different com- 
plexion upon it, by representing Sir Richard as 
being in the first instance trapped in the fulfil- 
ment of a duty. He declares that the Revenge 
"was the last waied, to recover the men that 
were upon the Island, which otherwise had been 


lost." Unfortunately, this contention is nega- 
tived by the numbers of the men captured in 
her; and, indeed, he goes on to say that Gren- 
ville afterwards "utterly refused to turn from 
the enemy " and boasted that he would "enforce 
those of Sivill to give him way." Sir Richard 
Hawkins is more whole-hearted. "At the He 
of Flores, Sir Richard Greenfield got eternall 
honour and reputation of great valour, and of 
an experimented Soldier, chusing rather to sac- 
rifice his life, and to passe all danger whatsoever, 
than to fayle in his Obligation, by gathering 
together those which had remained ashore in 
that place, though with the hazard of his ship 
and companie: and rather we ought to imbrace 


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an honourable death than to live with infamie 
and dishonour, by fayling in dutie." 

No man would have been quicker to lay down 
such a principle than Grenville, but it is clear 
that on this occasion he did not observe it, and 
to maintain that he did so would be to mistake 
the nature of the man. He was no quiet reso- 
lute victim of duty: his stubbornness was not 
that of faithful endurance. If the evidence we 
have quoted goes for anything he was then, as 
ever, proud, rash, headstrong and tyrannical, and 
he remained true to himself even in his famous 
dying speech, which has been garbled by every 
translator for 300 years. "Here die I, Richard 
Greenfield, with a joyfull and quiet mind, for 
that I have ended my life as a true soldier 

ought to do, that hath fought for his country, 
Queene, religion, and honor, whereby my soule 
most joyfull departeth out of this bodie, and 
shall alwaies leave behind it an everlasting fame 
of a valiant and true soldier, that hath done his 
dutie, as he was bound to do. ,, So it has always 
run; it was not until 1897 tnat Mr David Han- 
nay first translated and replaced the fierce con- 
cluding sentence :" But the others of my company 
have done as traitors and dogs, for which they 
shall be reproached all their lives and leave a 
shameful name for ever." That, to my ear, is 
the authentic voice of the Grenville. 



S this a condemnation? Is Sir 
Richard Grenville of the Revenge^ 
after three centuries of fame, to 
be summed up as a ferocious and 
domineering fire-eater, hateful 
to his subordinates and disobe- 
dient to his chief? I do not think so. It is true 
that we cannot look to him for an example of 
what a seaman should be, or what an officer 

should do, but he is none the less a beacon to all 
Englishmen, because he was a great fighter and 
above the fear of death. To breathe the inspira- 
tion of his genius, it is not necessary to tamper 
with the record of his charafter; we have but 
to look at him as he was, with open eyes, to 
think what we will of his faults, and then to turn 
once more to the story of his superb valour and 
his supreme achievement. Beyond question, he 
and all his company are among the Immortals. 

Heroes of old! We humbly lay 
The laurels on your graves again; 

Whatever men have done, men may — 
The deeds you wrought are not in vain.* 


* Austin Dobson, A Ballad of Heroes, 



the fight about the lies of 
A§ores , this laft 


< JReuenge > ow of her Mtieflies 

zAndan lArmada of 'the Kjng 


Printed for william Ponfonbic 
i i 9 i. 





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ECAUSE the rumours are 
diversely spread, as well in 
tries and elsewhere, of this 
late encounter between her 
Majesty's ships and the Armada of Spain; 
and that the Spaniards, according to their 
usual manner, fill the world with their vain- 


glorious vaunts, making great appearance 
of victories: when, on the contrary, them- 
selves are most commonly and shamefully 
beaten and dishonoured; thereby hoping 
to possess the ignorant multitude by antici- 
pating and forerunning false reports. It is 
agreeable with all good reason, for mani- 
festation of the truth, to overcome false- 
hood and untruth; that the beginning, 
continuance and success of this late hon- 
ourable encounter of Sir Richard Gren- 
ville, and other her Majesty's Captains, 
with the Armada of Spain, should be truly 
setdown and published without partiality 
or false imaginations. 


And it is no marvel that the Spaniard 
should seek, by false and slanderous 
pamphlets, advices and letters, to cover 
their own loss, and to derogate from others 
their due honours, especially in this fight 
being performed far off; seeing they were 
not ashamed in the year 15 88, when they 
purposed the invasion of this land, to pub- 
lish in sundry languages in print, great 
victories in words, which they pleaded to 
have obtained against this Realm, and 
spread the same in a most false sort over 
all parts of France, Italy and elsewhere. 
When shortly after it was happily mani- 
fested in very deed to all nations, how their 










~ *1 


Navy, which they termed invincible, con- 
sisting of 240 sail of ships, not only of their 
own kingdom, but strengthened with the 
greatest argosies, Portugal caracks, Flo- 
rentines and huge hulks of other countries, 
were, by thirty of her Majesty's own ships 
of war and a few of our own merchants, 
by the wise, valiantand most advantageous 
conduction of the Lord Charles Howard, 
High Admiral of England, beaten and 
shuffled together, even from the Lizard 
in Cornwall, first to Portland, where they 
shamefully left Don Pedro de Valdes with 
his mighty ship; from Portland to Calais, 
where they lost Hugo de Moncado with 


the galleass of which he was captain; and 
from Calais, driven with squibs from their 
anchors, were chased out of the sight of 
England, round about Scotland and Ire- 
land. Where for the sympathy of their 
barbarous religion, hoping to find succour 
and assistance, a great part of them were 
crushed against the rocks, and those other 
that landed, being very many in number, 
were, notwithstanding, broken, slain and 
taken, and so sent from village to village 
coupled in halters to be shipped into Eng- 
land. Where Her Majesty of her princely 
and invincible disposition, disdaining to 



a-js -\Tr3 -.««?/# it | 

J^iiSili V 'J/,; iW' 

put them to death, and scorning either 
to retain or entertain them, [they] were 
all sent back again to their countries, to 
witness and recount the worthy achieve- 
ments of their invincible and dreadful 
Navy. Of which the number of soldiers, 
the fearful burthen of their ships, the com- 
manders names of every squadron, with all 
other their magazines of provision, were 
put in print as an Army and Navy unre- 
sistible, and disdaining prevention. With 
all which so great and terrible an ostenta- 
tion, they did not in all their sailing round 
about England, so much as sink or take 


one ship, barque, pinnace, or cockboat of 
ours: or ever burnt so much as one sheep- 
cote of this land. When as on the contrary, 
Sir Francis Drake, with only 800 soldiers, 
not long before, landed in their Indies, and 
forced Santiago, Santo Domingo, Carta- 
gena, and the forts of Florida. 
And after that, Sir John Norris marched 
from Penich in Portugal, with a handful 
of soldiers, to the gates of Lisbon, being 
about forty English miles, where the Earl 
of Essex himself and other valiant gentle- 
men braved the city of Lisbon, encamped 

at the very gates; from whence, after many 
days' abode, finding neither promised 
party, nor provision to batter: made re- 
treat by land, in despite of all their garri- 
sons, both of horse and foot. In this sort 
I have a little digressed from my first pur- 
pose, only by the necessary comparison 
of theirs and our actions: the one covetous 
of honour without vaunt or ostentation; 
the other so greedy to purchase the opinion 
of their own affairs, and by false rumours 
to resist the blasts of their own dishonours, 
as they will not only not blush to spread 
all manner of untruths : but even for the 
least advantage, be it but for the taking 





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of one poor adventurer of the English, 
will celebrate the vi&ory with bonfires in 
every town, always spending more in fag- 
gots, than the purchase was worth they 
obtained. Whereas we never yet thought 
it worth the consumption of two billets, 
when we have taken eight or ten of their 
Indian ships at one time, and twenty of 
the Brazil fleet. Such is the difference be- 
tween true valour, and ostentation: and 
between honourable a6lions,andfrivolous 
vainglorious vaunts. But now to return to 
my first purpose. 


The Lord Thomas Howard, with six of 
Her Maj esty's ships, six vi&uallers of Lon- 
don, the barque %alegh^ and two or three 
pinnaces ridingatanchor near unto Flores, 
one of the westerly islands of the Azores, 
the last of August in the afternoon, had 
intelligence by one Captain Midleton, of 
the approach of the Spanish Armada. 
Which Midleton being in a very good 
sailer, had kept them company three days 
before, of good purpose, both to discover 
their forces the more, as also to give advice 
to my Lord Thomas of their approach. He 
had no sooner delivered the news but the 

fleet was in sight : many of our ship's com- 
panies were on shore in the island ; some 
providing ballast for their ships; others 
filling of water and refreshing themselves 
from the land with such things as they 
could, either for money, or by force re- 
cover. By reason whereof our ships being 
all pestered & rummaging every thing out 
of order, very light for want of ballast. And 
that which was most to our disadvantage, 
the one half part of the men of every ship 
sick, and utterly unserviceable. For in the 
T^eyenge there were ninety diseased; in 
the Tionaventure^ not so many in health 
as could handle her mainsail. For had not 


twenty men been taken out of a barque of 
Sir George Cary's, his being commanded 
to be sunk, and those appointed to her, 
she had hardly ever recovered England. 
The rest for the most part, were in little 
better state. The names of Her Majesty's 
ships were these as followeth: the F)eji- 
ance^ which was Admiral, the Revenge 
Vice-Admiral, the T&onaventure com- 
manded by Captain Cross, the Lion 
by George Fenner, the Foresight by 
Thomas Vavasour, and the Crane by Duf- 
field. The Foresight and the Crane being 
but small ships, only the other were of the 
middle size; the rest, besides the barque 



Ttylegh^ commanded by Captain Thin, 
were victuallers , and of small force or none . 
The Spanish fleet having shrouded their 
approach by reason of the island, were 
now so soonathand,as our ships had scarce 
time to weigh their anchors, but some of 
them were driven to let slip their cables and 
set sail. Sir Richard Grenville was the last 
weighed , to recover the men that were upon 
the island, which otherwise had been lost. 
The Lord Thomas with the rest very hardly 
recovered the wind, which Sir Richard 
Grenville not being able to do, was per- 
suaded by the master and others to cut his 


main sail and cast about,and to trust to the 
sailingof the ship,for the squadron of Seville 
were on his weather bow. But Sir Richard 
utterly refused to turn from the enemy, 
alleging that he would rather choose to 
die, than to dishonour himself, his country, 
and Her Majesty's ship, persuading his 
company that he would pass through the 
two squadrons in despite of them, and en- 
force those of Seville to give him way. 
Which he performed upon divers of the 
foremost, who, as the mariners term it, 
sprang their luff, and fell under the lee of 
xhzl^evenge. But the other course had been 

the better, and might right well have been 
answered in so great an impossibility of pre- 
vailing. Notwithstanding out of the great- 
ness of his mind, he could not be persuaded. 
In the meanwhile as he attended those 
which were nearest him, the great San 
Thilip being in the wind of him, and 
coming towards him, becalmed his sails 
in such sort , as the ship could neither weigh 
nor feel the helm, so huge and high charged 
was the Spanish ship, being of a thousand 
and five hundred tons. Who after laid the 
l^evenge aboard. When he was thus bereft 
of his sails, the ships that were under his lee 
luffing up, also laid him aboard, of which 


the next was the Admiral of the ^Biscaines^. 
very mighty and puissant ship commanded 
by Brittan Dona. The said Philip carried 
three tier of ordinance on a side, and eleven 
pieces in every tier. She shot eight forth- 
right out of her chase, besides those of her 
stern ports. 

After the Revenge was entangled with this 
Thilip) four others boarded her; two on 
her larboard and two on her starboard. The 
fight thus beginning at three of the clock 
in the afternoon, continued very terrible 
all that evening. But the great San Thilip 
having received the lower tier of the T$e- 
venge, discharged with cross-bar shot, 


shifted herself with all diligence from her 
sides, utterly misliking her first entertain- 
ment. Some say that the ship foundered, 
but we cannot report it for truth, unless 
we were assured. The Spanish ships were 
filled with companies of soldiers, in some 
two hundred,besides the mariners ; in some 
five, in others eight hundred. In ours there 
were none at all, beside the mariners, but 
the servants of the commanders and some 
few voluntary gentlemen only. After many 
interchanged volleys of great ordnance and 

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small shot, the Spaniards deliberated to en- 
ter the 7$evenge y and made divers attempts, 
hoping to force her by the multitudes of 
their armed soldiers and musketeers, but 
were still repulsed again and again, and at 
all times beaten back into their own ships, 
or into the seas. In the beginning of the 
fightthe QeorgeU^oble^ of London, having 
received some shot through her by theeyfr- 
tnadas^ fell under the lee of the l^eyenge^ 
and asked Sir Richard what he would com- 
mand him, being but one of the victuallers 
and of small force ; Sir Richard bid him 
save himself, and leave him to his fortune. 


After the fight had thus, without intermis- 
sion, continued while the day lasted and 
some hours of the night, many of our men 
were slain and hurt, and one of the great 
galleons of the Armadaand the Admiral of 
the Hulks both sunk, and in many other 
of the Spanish ships great slaughter was 
made. Some write that Sir Richard was 
very dangerously hurt almost in the begin- 
ning of the fight, and lay speechless for a 
time ere he recovered. But two of the Re- 
venges own company, brought home in a 
ship of Lime from the Islands, examined by 

some of the Lords and others, affirmed that 
he was never so wounded as that he for- 
sook the upper deck till an hour before 
midnight, and then being shot into the 
body with a musket as he was dressing, was 
again shot into the head, and withal his sur- 
geon wounded to death. This agrees also 
with an examination taken by Sir Francis 
Godolphin, of four other mariners of the 
same ship being returned, which exami- 
nation the said Sir Francis sent unto Mas- 
ter William Killigrew, of Her Majesty's 
Privy Chamber. 

But to return to the fight, the Spanish ships 
which attempted to board the %evenge^ as 

they were wounded and beaten off, so al- 
ways others came in their places , she having 
never less than two mighty galleons by her 
sides and aboard her. So that ere the morn- 
ing from three of the clock the day before, 
there had fifteen several Armadas assailed 
her, and all so ill approved their enter- 
tainment, as they were by the break of 
day, far more willing to hearken to a com- 
position, than hastily to make any more 
assaults or entries. But as the day increased 
so our men decreased ; and as the lightgrew 
more and more, by so much more grew 
our discomforts. For none appeared in 




I* — 

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jSE:"-^ : 

sight but enemies, saving one small ship 
called the 'Pilgrim, commanded by Jacob 
Whiddon, who hovered all night to see 
the success: but in the morning bearing 
with the 7$evenge y vras hunted like a hare 
amongst many ravenous hounds, but es- 

All the powder of the 'Revenge to the last 
barrel was now spent, all her pikes broken, 
forty of her best men slain, and the most 
part of the rest hurt. In the beginning of 
the fight she had but one hundred free 
from sickness, and fourscore and ten sick, 
laid in hold upon the ballast. A small troop 


to man such a ship, and a weak garrison to 
resist so mighty an army. By those hundred 
all was sustained, the volleys, boardings, 
and enterings of fifteen ships of war, besides 
those which beat her at large. On the con- 
trary, the Spanish were always supplied 
with soldiers brought from every squad- 
ron: all manner of arms and powder at will. 
Unto ours there remained no comfort at 
all,nohope,no supply either of ships,men, 
or weapons; the masts all beaten over- 
board, all her tackle cut asunder, her upper 
work altogether razed, and in effe A evened 


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she was with the water, but the very foun- 
dation or bottom of a ship, nothing being 
left overhead either for flight or defence. 
Sir Richard finding himself in this distress, 
and unable any longer to make resistance, 
having endured in this fifteen hours' fight, 
the assault of fifteen several armadas, all 
by turns aboard him, and by estimation 
eight hundred shot of great artillery, be- 
sides many assaults and entries. And that 
himself and the ship must needs be pos- 
sessed by the enemy, who were now all 
cast in a ring round about him; the r Re- 
venge not able to move one way or other, 

but as she was moved with the waves and 
billow of the sea: commanded the master 
Gunner, whom he knew to be a most reso- 
lute man, to split and sink the ship; that 
thereby nothing might remain of glory or 
vidory to the Spaniards : seeing in so many 
hours' fight, and with so great a Navy they 
were not able to take her, having had fif- 
teen hours' time, fifteen thousand men,and 
fifty and three sail of men-of-war to per- 
form it withal. And persuaded the com- 
pany, or as many as he could induce, to 
yield themselves unto God, and to the 
mercy of none else; but as they had like 
valiant resolute men, repulsed so many 

enemies, they should not now shorten the 
honour of their nation, by prolonging their 
own lives for a few hours, or a few days. 
The master Gunner readily condescended 
and divers others; but the Captain and the 
Master were of an other opinion, and be- 
sought Sir Richard to have care of them, 
alleging that the Spaniard would be as 
ready to entertain a composition, as they 
were willing to offer the same : and that 
there being divers sufficient and valiant 
men yet living, and whose wounds were 
not mortal, they might do their country 
and prince acceptable service hereafter. 
And (that where Sir Richard had alleged 


that the Spaniards should never glory to 
have taken one ship of Her Majesty's, see- 
ing that they had so long and so notably 
defended themselves) they answered, that 
the ship had six foot water in hold, three 
shot under water which were so weakly 
stopped, as with the first working of the 
sea, she must needs sink, and was besides 
so crushed and bruised, as she could never 
be removed out of the place. 
And as the matter was thus in dispute, and 
Sir Richard refusing to hearken to any of 
those reasons: the master of the %evenge 
(while the Captain won unto him the great- 


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er party) was convoyed aboard the General 
Don Alfonso Bassan. Who, finding none 
over-hasty to enter the %evenge again, 
doubting lest Sir Richard would have 
blown them up and himself, and perceiv- 
ing by the report of the master of the %e- 
yenge his dangerous disposition: yielded 
that all their lives should be saved, the 
company sent for England, and the better 
sort to pay such reasonable ransom as their 
estate would bear, and in the mean season 
to be free from galley or imprisonment. 
To this he so much the rather condescen- 
ded as well as I have said, for fear of further 


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loss and mischief to themselves, as also for 
the desire he had to recover Sir Richard 
Grenville; whom for his notable valour he 
seemed greatly to honour and admire. 
When this answer was returned, and that 
safety of life was promised, the common 
sort being now at the end of their peril, 
the most drew back from Sir Richard and 
the master Gunner, being no hard matter 
to dissuade men from death to life. The 
master Gunner finding himself and Sir 
Richard thus prevented and mastered by 
the greater number, would have slain him- 
self with a sword, had he not been by force 
withheld and locked into his cabin. Then 


the General sent many boats aboard the 
7$eyenge y and divers of ourmen, fearing Sir 
Richard's disposition, stole away aboard 
the General and other ships. Sir Richard 
Bassan to remove out of the Tfevenge, the 
ship being marvellous unsavoury, filled 
men like a slaughter-house. Sir Richard 
answered that he might do with his body 
what he list, for he esteemed it not, and 
and reviving again desired the company to 
pray for him. The General used Sir Richard 


with all humanity, and left nothing unat- 
tempted that tended to his recovery ,highly 
commending his valour and worthiness, 
and greatly bewailed the danger wherein 
he was, being unto them a rare spectacle, 
and a resolution seldom approved, to see 
one ship turn toward so many enemies, 
to endure the charge and boarding of so 
many huge armadas, and to resist and repel 
the assaults and entries of so many soldiers. 
All which and more, is confirmed by a 
Spanish captain of the same armada, and 

a present adtor in the fight, who being 
severed from the rest in a storm, was by 
the Lyoii of London a small ship, taken 
and is now prisoner in London. 
The general commander of the Armada, 
was Don Alfonso Bassan, brother to the 
Marquesse of Santa Cruce. The Admiral 
of the Biscaine squadron was Britan 
Dona. Of the squadron of Seville, Marques 
of Arumburch. The Hulkes andFlyboats 
were commanded by Luis Cutino. There 
were slain and drowned in this fight, well 
near two thousand of the enemies, and 
two especial commanders Don Luis de 


St John, and Don George de Prunaria 
de Malaga, as the Spanish Captain con- 
fesseth, besides divers others of special 
account, whereof as yet report is not 

The Admiral of the Hulks and the As- 
cension of Seville, were both sunk by the 
side of the Revenge; one other recovered 
the road of Saint Michael's, and sunk also 
there; a fourth ran herself with the shore 
to save her men. Sir Richard died as it is 
said, the second or third day aboard the 
General, and was by them greatly be- 
wailed . What became of his body, whether 


it were buried in the sea or on the land 
we know not: the comfort that remaineth 
to his friends is, that he hath ended his 
life honourably in respect of the reputation 
won to his nation and country, and of the 
fame to his posterity, and that beingdead, 
he hath not outlived his own honour. 
For the rest of Her Majesty's ships that 
entered not so far into the fight as the 
Reyenge^ the reasons and causes were 
these. There were of them but six in all, 
whereof two but small ships; the Revenge 
engaged past recovery: The Island of 
Flores was on the one side, 53 sail of the 
Spanish, divided into squadrons on the 

other, all as full filled with soldiers as they 
could contain. Almost the one half of our 
men sick and not able to serve: the ships 
grown foul, unrummaged, and scarcely 
able to bear any sail for want of ballast, 
having been six months at the sea before. 
If all the rest had entered, all had been 
lost. For the very hugeness of the Spanish 
fleet, if no other violence had been offered, 
would have crushed them between them 
into shivers. Of which the dishonour and 
loss to the Queen had been far greater 
than the spoil or harm that the enemy 

could any way have received. Notwith- 
standing it is very true, that the Lord 
Thomas would have entered between 
the squadrons, but the rest would not 
condescend; and the master of his 
own ship offered to leap into the sea, 
rather than to conduct that Her Majesty's 
ship and the rest to be a prey to the 
enemy, where there was no hope nor 
possibility either of defence or victory. 
Which also in my opinion had ill sorted 
or answered the discretion and trust of a 
General,to commit himself and his charge 
to an assured destruction, without hope 

or any likelihood of prevailing: thereby 
to diminish the strength of Her Majesty's 
Navy, and to enrich the pride and glory 
of the enemy. The Foresight of the Queen, 
commanded by Thomas Vavasour, per- 
formed a very great fight, and stayed two 
hours as near the Revenge as the weather 
would permithim, not forsaking the fight, 
till he was like to be encompassed by the 
squadrons, and with great difficulty 
cleared himself. The rest gave divers vol- 
leys of shot, and entered as far as the place 
permitted and their own necessities, to 
keep the weather gauge of the enemy, 
until they were parted by night. 


FEW days after the fight 
was ended, and the English 
prisoners dispersed into 
the Spanish and India ships, 
there arose so great a storm 
from the west and north-west, that all 
the fleet was dispersed, as well the Indian 
fleet which were then come unto them 

io 4 


as the rest of the Armada that attended 
their arrival, of which fourteen sail to- 
gether with the T^evenge^ and in her 200 
Spaniards, were cast away upon the Isle of 
S. Michael's. So it pleased them to honour 
the burial of that renowned ship the c B s e- 
venge, not suffering her to perish alone, 
for the great honour she achieved in her 
life time. On the rest of the islands there 
were cast away in this storm fifteen or six- 
teen more of the ships of war; and of a 
hundred and odd sail of the India fleet 
expected this year in Spain, what in this 
tempest and what before in the Bay of 

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Mexico, and about the Bermudas, there 
were seventy and odd consumed and lost, 
with those taken by our ships of London, 
besides one very rich Indian ship, which 
set herself on fire, being boarded by the 
Tilgrim^ and five other taken by Master 
Wats his ships of London, between the 
Havana and Cape S. Antonio. The 4th 
of this month of November we received 
letters from the Tercera affirming that 
there are 3,000 bodies of men remaining 
in that island, saved out of the perished 
ships; and that by the Spaniards own con- 
fession there are 1 0,000 cast away in this 
storm, besides those that are perished be- 


tween the islands and the main. Thus it hath 
pleased God to fight for us, and to defend 
the justice of our cause against the ambi- 
tious and bloody pretences of theSpaniard, 
who, seeking to devour all nations, are 
themselves devoured. Amanifest testimony 
how injust and displeasing their attempts 
are in the sight of God, who hath pleased 
to witness by the success of their affairs 
His mislike of their bloody and injurious 
designs, purposed and practised against 
all Christian princes, over whom they seek 
unlawful and ungodly rule and Empery. 

One day or two before this wreck happen- 
ed to the Spanish fleet, when as some of 
our prisoners desired to be set on shore 
upon the islands, hoping to be from thence 
transported into England, which liberty 
was formerly by the General promised: 
One Maurice Fitz John, son of old John 
of Desmond a notable traitor, cousin ger- 
man to the late Earl of Desmond, was sent 
to the English from ship to ship, to per- 
suade them to serve the King of Spain. 
The arguments he used to induce them 
were these. The increase of pay which he 
promised to be trebled: advancement to 

the better sort: and the exercise of the 
true Catholic religion, and safety of their 
souls to all. For the first, even the beggar- 
ly and unnatural behaviour of those Eng- 
lish and Irish rebels, that served the king 
in that present a&ion, was sufficient to 
answer that first argument of rich pay. 
For so poor and beggarly they were, as 
for want of apparel they stripped their 
poor country men prisoners out of their 
ragged garments, worn to nothing by six 
months' service, and spared not to despoil 
them even of their bloody shirts, from 
their wounded bodies, and the very shoes 
from their feet ; a notable testimony of their 

rich entertainment and great wages. The 
second reason was hope of advancement 
if they served well and would continue 
faithful to the king. But what man can be 
so blockishly ignorant ever to expeft place 
or honour from a foreign king, having no 
argument or persuasion than his own dis- 
loyalty; to be unnatural to his own coun- 
try that bred him; to his parents that begat 
him, and rebellious to his true prince, to 
whose obedience he is bound by oath, by 
nature, and by religion. No, they are only 
assured to be employed in all desperate 
enterprises, to be held in scorn and dis- 
dain ever among those whom they serve. 

And that ever traitor was either trusted 
or advanced I could never yet read, neither 
can I at this time remember any example. 
And no man could have less become the 
place of an orator for such a purpose than 
this Maurice of Desmond. For the Earl 
his cousin being one of the greatest sub- 
jects in that kingdom of Ireland, having 
almost whole countries in his possession, 
so many goodly manors, castles and lord- 
ships; the Count Palatine of Kerry, 500 
gentlemen of his own name and family 
to follow him, besides others. All which 
he possessed in peace for three or four 


hundred years, was in less than three 
years after his adhering to the Spaniards 
and rebellion, beaten from all his holds, 
not so many as ten gentlemen of his name 
left living, himself taken and beheaded by 
a soldier of his own nation, and his land 
given by a Parliament to Her Majesty and 
possessed by the English. His other cousin 
Sir John of Desmond taken by Mr. John 
Zouch, and his body hanged over the 
gates of his native city to be devoured by 
ravens; the third brother Sir James hanged, 
drawn and quartered in the same place. 
If he had withall vaunted of this success 


of his own house, no doubt the argument 
would have moved much and wrought 
great effed; which because he for that 
present forgot, I thought it good to re- 
member in his behalf. For matter of reli- 
gion it would require a particular volume 
if I should set down how irreligiously they 
cover their greedy and ambitious pretences 
with that veil of piety. But sure I am, that 
there is no kingdom or commonwealth in 
all Europe, but if they be reformed, they 
then invade it for religion sake; if it be 
as they term Catholic they pretend title, 
as if the Kings of Castile were the natural 
heirs of all the world; and so between both, 

no kingdom is unsought. Where they dare 
not with their own forces to invade, they 
basely entertain the traitors and vagabonds 
of all nations, seeking by those and by their 
runagate Jesuits to win parties, and have 
by that means ruined many noble houses 
and others in thisland,and haveextinguish- 
ed both their lives and families. What good, 
honour or fortune ever man yet by them 
achieved is yet unheard of or unwritten. 
And if our English Papists do but look 
into Portugal, against whom they have 
no pretence of religion, how the nobility 
are put to death, imprisoned, their rich 
men made a prey, and all sorts of people 


captived , they shall find that the obedience 
even of the Turk is easy and a liberty, in re- 
sped of the slavery and tyranny of Spain. 
What they have done in Sicily, in Naples, 
Milan and in the Low Countries; who hath 
there been spared for religion at all? And 
it cometh to my remembrance of a certain 
burgher of Antwerp, whose house being 
entered by a company of Spanish soldiers, 
when they first sacked the city, he be- 
sought them to spare him and his goods, 
being a good Catholic and one of their 
own party and faction. The Spaniards an- 

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swered that they knew him to be of a good 
conscience for himself, but his money, 
plate, jewels and goods were all hereti- 
cal, and therefore good prize. So they 
abused and tormented the foolish Flem- 
ing, who hoped that an <Agnus Dei had 
been a sufficient target against all force 
of that holy and charitable nation. Neither 
have they at any time as they protest in- 
vaded the kingdoms of the Indies and 
Peru, and elsewhere, but only led there- 
unto, rather, to reduce the people to 
Christianity, than for either gold or em- 
pery. When as in one only island called 

Hispaniola, they have wasted thirty hun- 
dred thousand of the natural people, be- 
sides many millions else in other places 
of the Indies: a poor and harmless people 
created of God, and might have been won 
to His knowledge, as many of them were, 
and almost as many as ever were per- 
suaded thereunto. The story whereof is 
at large written by a Bishop of their own 
nation called Bartholome de las Casas, 
and translated into English and many 
other languages, entitled The Spanish 
Cruelties. Who would therefore repose 
trust in such a nation of ravenous strangers, 

ii 9 

and especially in those Spaniards which 
more greedily thirst after English blood, 
than after the lives of any other people 
of Europe; for the many overthrows and 
dishonours they have received at our 
hands, whose weakness we have dis- 
covered to the world, and whose forces 
at home, abroad, in Europe, in India, by 
sea and land, we have even with hand- 
fuls of men and ships, overthrown and 
dishonoured. Let not therefore any Eng- 
lishman of what religion soever, have other 
opinion of the Spaniards, but that those 
whom he seeketh to win of our nation, 

he esteemeth base and traitorous, un- 
worthy persons, or unconstant fools: and 
that he useth his pretence of religion for 
no other purpose but to bewitch us from 
the obedience of our natural prince; there- 
by hoping in time to bring us to slavery 
and subjedion, and then none shall be 
unto them so odious, and disdained as 
the traitors themselves, who have sold 
their country to a stranger, and forsaken 
their faith and obedience contrary to na- 
ture or religion; and contrary to that 
human and general honour, not only of 
Christians, but of heathen and irreligious 

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nations, who have always sustained what 
labour soever, and embraced even death 
itself, for their country, prince or com- 
monwealth. To conclude, it hath ever to 
this day pleased God to prosper and de- 
fend her Majesty, to break the purposes of 
malicious enemies, of foresworn traitors, 
and of unjust pra&ices and invasions. She 
hath ever been honoured of the worthiest 
Kings, served by faithful subje&s, and 
shall by the favour of God, resist, repel, 
and confound all whatsoever attempts 
against her sacred person or kingdom. 
In the meantime, let the Spaniard and 
traitor vaunt of their success; and we 
her true and obedient vassals guided by 
the shining light of her virtues, shall al- 
ways love her, serve her, and obey her 
to the end of our lives. 




HE fleet of Nova Hispania, 
at their first gathering to- 
gether and setting forth, 
were 5 2 sails. The Admiral 
was of 600 tons, and the 
Vice- Admiral of the same burden. Four 
or five of the ships were of 900 and 1000 
tons a piece, some 500 and 400, and the 
least of 2 00 tons. Of this fleet 1 9 were cast 

away, and in them 2600 men by estima- 
tion, which was done along the coast of 
Nova Hispania, so that of the same fleet, 
there came to the Havana, but three and 
thirty sails. 

The fleet of Terra Firma, were at their 
first departure from Spain, 50 sails, which 
were bound for Nombre de Dios, where 
they did discharge their lading, and thence 
returned to Cartagena, for their healths 
sake, until the time the treasure was ready 
they should take in, at the said Nombre 
de Dios. But before this fleet departed, 
some were gone by one or two at a time, 



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so that only 2 3 sails of this fleet arrived in 
the Havana. 

( 33 sails of Nova Hispania. 

At the Hava- J 23 sails of Terra Firma. 

na there met J 12 sails of San Domingo. 

\ 9 sails of Hunduras. 

In the whole 77 ships, which joined and 
set sail together, at the Havana, the 1 7 th of 
July, according to our account, and kept 
together until they came into the height of 
3 5 degrees, which was about the tenth of 
August, where they found the wind at 
south west, changed suddenly to the north, 
so that the sea coming out of the south 


west, and the wind very violent at north, 
they were put all into great extremity, and 
then first lost the General of their fleet, 
with 500 men in her; and within three or 
four days after another storm rising, there 
were five or six other of the biggest ships 
cast away with all their men, together with 
their Vice- Admiral. 

And in the height of 4 8 degrees about the 
end of August, grew another great storm, 
in which all the fleet saving 48 sails were 
cast away: which 48 sails kept together, 
until they came in sight of the Islands of 
Coruo and Flores, about the 5 th or 6th of 


September, at which time a great storm 
separated them; of which number 1 5 or 1 6 
were after seen by these Spaniards to ride at 
anchor under the Tercera; and twelve or 
fourteen more to bear with the Island of 
S. Michael's ; what became of them after 
that these Spaniards were taken, cannot 
yet be certified; their opinion is, that very 
few of the fleet are escaped, but are either 
drowned or taken. And it is otherwise of 
late certified, that of this whole fleet that 
should have come into Spain this year, 
being 123 sail, there are as yet arrived but 
2 5 . This note was taken out of the exam- 
ination of certain Spaniards, that were 
brought into England by six of the ships 
of London, which took seven of the above 
named Indian fleet, near the Islands of 


Letchivortb : At the Ar den Press.